What's the Difference Between an Astringent & Toner?

Beauty Pop Quiz: Do you know the difference between an astringent and a toner?

If you don’t know the answer, don’t sweat it. Because these two skincare staples share some similarities, it’s not surprising that many people don’t know the answer to this question. However, we’re here to set the record straight.

As it happens, astringent and toner are more different than they are alike and those differences could have a deep impact on your skin health. Read on for everything you need to know, and which to choose for your skin’s particular needs.


What's the Difference?

To understand the difference between an astringent and a toner, it’s helpful to understand what each of these products is and was designed to do.

According to dermatologists, an astringent product is technically a water-based cleansing product, designed to deeply cleanse congested pores. Astringents are typically formulated with a lot of alcohol ingredients and designed to remove excess oil from oily or acne prone skin. While these are all good things, it’s important to know that astringents can be very aggressive and drying for the skin.

Astringents tend to disrupt the pH of the skin’s natural protective barrier and therefore are not the best choice for sensitive or dry skin. They can also be irritating or damaging to inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema and rosacea. For this reason, we prefer to avoid harsh astringents or use them only as a spot treatment.

Toners on the other hand, are a step following face wash and meant to complete the cleansing process by replenishing lost moisture and rebalancing skin pH. This additionally helps prepare the skin and pores to absorb other products such as your active serums and moisturizer.

While some toners are still formulated with alcohol, they tend to be more hydrating and nourishing for the skin with ingredients like herbal extracts and floral waters, which work to calm irritation and boost the skin’s natural moisture factor.


Which Should I Use?
For the most part, astringents are becoming a thing of the skin care past, as more people recognize the more skin-friendly ingredients and benefits of today’s toners. Although oily or acneic skin types may still benefit from occasionally incorporating an astringent, most skin types and conditions can actually be worsened by products that are too drying, such as an astringent or even plain witch hazel. Instead, we like hydrating toners for bringing balance to the skin following cleansing. They’re gentle enough for sensitive skin, but effective for oily or acne prone skin, as well.


Bellavana Beauty's Choice

For a toner product that all skin types can use and love, we created our Bella Glow Hydrating Rose Toner to be perfectly balancing, hydrating and nourishing. This daily toner is formulated with a blend of super hydrating and replenishing ingredients and is completely free of skin-stripping alcohols or pore clogging ingredients. Plus, with a refreshing rose water base, it can be used as often as you like. You can even use it throughout the day, anytime your skin needs a little boost of hydration and glow.

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